Prolonged sleep deprivation causes cognitive deficits. In rats, for instance, sleep deprivation weakens spatial learning and long-term potentiation (LTP).
We examined the effects of omega-3 on cognitive deficiency induced by REM sleep deprivation (RSD). For this purpose, we used a fear conditioning paradigm, forced swim test (FST) apparatus, and hot plate test. Intravenously omega-3 injection was performed during 3 consecutive days. Rats trained in the fear conditioning apparatus after 24 h. During conditioning, animals were received foot shocks, either alone or paired with a sound. Sleep deprivation paradigm was carried out in which REM sleep was completely prevented and non-REM sleep was intensely declined for 24 h. Then, context-dependent retention, anxiety behaviors, and hot plate tests were done.
Auditory-dependent retention, anxiety behaviors, and FST were carried out 24 h later. 24 h of RSD impaired cognitive function, however intravenously administration of omega-3 improved (0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg/kg) context- or auditory-dependent memory, induced anxiolytic (1 mg/kg), antidepressant (1.25 mg/kg), and anti-nociceptive (0.25 mg/kg) effects.
The results revealed that RSD interferes with the neural systems underlying cognitive functions and supports the involvement of omega-3 in the modulation of cognitive functions.
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